Business Process Automation And Accounting

Accounting has been and continues to be an integral part of the business sector for centuries. With the help of financial statements, every organization performs several critical processes such as decision-making, planning, and controlling. A streamlined accounting process and an efficient accounting department can prove to be valuable asset to the organization. Therefore, the copious amounts of time and effort that accounting professionals allocate in performing their tasks manually are not justified and the need for integrating automation in the accounting process has increased manifolds. 

Martin N. Gregersen

6 April, 2021

Relying on old and redundant manual accounting practices is time-consuming and can hinder the company's growth. Introducing Business Process Automation in various accounting and financial operations will reduce operating costs, save time, and better the accounting department's performance. In this article, we have listed the accounting tasks that can and should be automated and the benefit your company will derive from that. Read on to know how Robotic Process Accounting can be game-changing for your organization

Six Accounting Tasks Your Business should Automate immediately

Automation

1.Purchasing 

In companies, diverse purchase transactions are performed daily, which involves copious amounts of paperwork like purchase orders, contracts, forms of payment, etc. Manual purchase-accounting frameworks are time-consuming & full of errors and slow down the entire pipeline. Nearly 70% of procurement professionals agree that optimizing the procurement-to-pay cycle with digital automation can significantly improve the department’s functioning. Procurement automation improves communication with both suppliers and internal stakeholders without spending additional time and costs of manually reviewing and processing paperwork by multiple stakeholders.

2. Invoicing 

The task of sending and receiving invoices and keeping track of them is an integral function of the accounting process. The traditional invoicing method is a tedious system that involves entering invoice data, creating paper invoices, matching purchase orders, and endless filing. By automating the invoicing process with digital platforms or tools, you can easily make & edit invoices, send reminders, and record payments. This substantially reduces the time that staff spends on manual data entry, eliminates the risk of typing errors, and enables accounting professionals to focus on other vital tasks. 

3.Payroll


Why have accounting managers or human resources executives dedicate unnecessary time over payroll during the pay period? Working to make sure individual employees get paid on time through traditional payroll methods can consume vast resources from an organization. Automated payroll software helps to deal with this burden efficiently. It lessens the accountants’ or HR manager’s work by automatically calculating wages after applying all the required deductions. They also allow employees to submit their timesheets, receive their payment via electronic banking systems and securely access their payslips online. 

4. Accounts Payable and receivable 

Many accounting departments are often overloaded with Account payable and receivable manual entries. Without proper implementation of the bills payable process, the company can lose goodwill with essential vendors, attract late-payment charges or not receive crucial goods or services when they need them. Automating the payable process would ensure that the orders are placed timely, payments are sent out, and invoices are tracked. Similarly, when the receivables are not handled adequately, the company can lose money or goods. Business process automation  in accounting and finance ensures accurate recording of the receivables and reduces the time spent on debt collection.

5. Automated Reminders and Alerts 

The Accounting team spends so much of their time sending reminders to other departments and various external entities such as stakeholders, debtors, creditors, financial institutions, etc. Constantly reminding people for documentation, and passing filings back and forth in departments, sending reminders to external parties, etc., can be highly time-consuming. The persistence of reminders can also annoy the receiver and adversely affect the relationships. 

Automated reminders take the workload off the accounting team and also help in preserving the relationship between departments. An organized automation system also minimizes the chances of errors that usually occur while sending reminders and alerts manually. 

6. Cash Flow Forecasting 

Analyzing the company’s financial performance and determining profitability and growth is one of the accounting team’s most crucial roles. Introducing automation in this function can help the accountants gain greater insight into the organization’s financial performance and offer value-adding reports to the management. There are several tools that can ease the forecasting process and help the accounting department in presenting accurate data. Management reporting and financial analysis tools help assess profitability, cash flow and growth, and other key performance indicators which enable businesses to make better decisions.

Benefits of Business process automation in accounting

Now, the question is why one should consider business process automation  in accounting and finance. We went through the tasks that can be very well handled with automation, but what’s next? Well, the foremost reason why one should embrace automation is to curb the ever growing spend. Here are some benefits of automation, take a look.

1. Optimized efficiency 

No matter how efficient the human resources team may be, it is impossible to eliminate human errors. Automation can limit the possibilities of errors in the accounting process. Of course, you cannot automate all the department functions, but integrating robotic processing in the repetitive and time-consuming tasks at certain stages of the process can reduce the potential human errors and optimize the functioning of the team. 

2. Scalable Performance 

In order to supervise the operations performed by the human workforce, the company has to hire new employees, train them, and manually set up operational procedures and quality control standards. But, when the accounting system is automated, the audit task becomes hassle-free and straightforward. 

3. Better Collaboration between departments

In large organizations, monitoring every member of every department and ensuring the proper flow of information becomes challenging. Keeping records of the projects, documenting the transactions of different teams, setting goals and assigning work, and implementing updates become a lot easier with the help of automation. This ultimately leads to the better collaboration of departments and overall improved functionality.

4.  Cost reduction

Business process automation eliminates redundant, repetitive tasks, which provides opportunities for employees to focus more on the quality of work Thus, the company can derive the same output level after optimizing the workforce, which leads to reduced overall operational costs.

Parting Thoughts

It is easy to come across articles like “Robotic process accounting – the end of accountants,” but it is not like that. Automation does not replace the accountant and finance professionals; rather, it facilitates them in making their performance better. It offers them an opportunity to upskill themselves and meet the requirements of the organization. We hope that this article gives you a clear picture of how Robotic process automation will enhance your accounting department’s performance. 

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FAQ

Q. What is the biggest benefit of business process automation in the accounting department?

Business process automation in accounting can help organizations improve the quality of their governance, better manage working capital, reduce risk, improve financial reporting, and deliver more insight.

Q. Is automation good for accountants and will not hamper their jobs?

Automation most likely will take away data entry jobs in accounting and finance. It will ease their jobs but not take away their employment opportunities.

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